THE MISSION? TO “DECOLONISE” PERCEPTIONS OF TEXTURED HAIR – AND STOP THE SHAME

THE MISSION? TO “DECOLONISE” PERCEPTIONS OF TEXTURED HAIR – AND STOP THE SHAME

THE MISSION? TO "DECOLONISE" PERCEPTIONS OF TEXTURED HAIR – AND STOP THE SHAME

Yasemin Hassan deep dives into her photo series and exhibition Talking Textures – celebrating, educating and redefining the cultural significance of textured hair.

Talking Textures event, April 2024

Curated by barber Yasemin Hassan and captured through the lens of photographer Yeliz Zaifoglu, the photo series and exhibition Talking Textures dives deep into the intricate relationship between beauty, cultural identity, and the resilient nature of hair, especially within the Southwest Asian & North African (SWANA) communities. 

Hosted at Ugly Duck London, Yasemin sees Talking Textures as more than an exhibition; it’s a movement to celebrate, educate, and redefine the cultural significance of textured hair. Spanning across 26 photographs, a short video, and a panel discussion that was held on 12 April, the project seeks to bring to light the challenges, beauty rituals, and the profound connection between hair and cultural identity in SWANA regions. 

Yasemin herself has emerged as a pivotal figure for individuals with textured hair in London, particularly within the SWANA community. While that’s thanks in part to extensive experience on high-end fashion shoots and London Fashion Week, it’s also coupled with personal conversations within her community. Her mission is to “decolonise” perceptions of hair and address the underrepresentation of SWANA identities in the hair industry. 

Roman Sys
Yasemin Hassan

Working closely with Dania Arafeh, founder of 3EIB – a SWANA fashion platform reclaiming the Arabic word 3Eib, meaning ‘shame’ – this project is a reaction to the underlying shame that SWANA individuals often experience from others within their own cultures, as well as what’s taught in the mainstream media about beauty. 

Yasemin breaks down the concept behind each image, and the powerful message each shot conveys… 

Reclaiming Control 
Riyam Salim  
Hair makes us feel powerful. We use our hair to reclaim our identity. Talking Textures explores this by considering the amount of people that go to a salon after a big life change and want to consolidate this with a drastic hair change. These images in the series are about power and taking control over our hair.  

Reclaiming Control 
Michaela Mousicous wearing 3EIB  
Hair makes us feel powerful. We use our hair to reclaim our identity. Talking Textures explores this by considering the amount of people that go to a salon after a big life change and want to consolidate this with a drastic hair change. These images in the series are about power and taking control over our hair.  

Carving Imperfections 
Ali Nasreldin wearing Mehdi Studio  
The media often idealises the ‘perfect curls’ – no frizz and a solid, clean shape when focusing on afro textures. In the full series of images Talking Textures plays on the phrase ‘bedhead’ to contrast to perfect curls. 

Changing Shape 
Peyam Zangana    
People with curly hair often talk about it being ‘too big’ and ask me to make their hair sit flatter. In full series collection, Talking Textures celebrates the shape using the concept  of ‘hat hair’, contrasting to this image which is the unrealistic flattened hair shape. 

Masking Identity  
Eman Alali wearing Isis Dünya  
Many people use hair length and fringes to mask and hide their SWANA features. Talking Textures plays on the use of hair as a mask by using the concept of ‘straggly ends’ to do this. 

Embracing Femininity 
Tahini Molasses wearing Ziyad Buainain 
Talking Textures closes the series by questioning: What is femininity? Does femininity have to be gendered within SWANA communities? Many women idealise long hair as being the height of femininity and beauty. The final set of images through this concept makes the statement that femininity can be unconventional. 

Director/curator/lead hair: Yasemin Hassan 
Photographer: Yeliz Zaifoglu  
Make-up: Tina Khatri  
Styling: 3EIB / Dania Arafeh
Hair assistants: Shaun Birmingham, Amy Clarke, Matthew Tharp 
Shot at Woolf Kings X 

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SCHWARZKOPF PROFESSIONAL REVEALS THE 2024 #SKPCOLLECTIVE TEAM

SCHWARZKOPF PROFESSIONAL REVEALS THE 2024 #SKPCOLLECTIVE TEAM

SCHWARZKOPF PROFESSIONAL REVEALS THE 2024 #SKPCOLLECTIVE TEAM

Six social media stars from across the industry have been selected to join the prestigious team.

#SKPCollective 2024 team

2024 #SKPCollective team

Following a fast-paced final audition day at Schwarzkopf Professional headquarters, the 2024 #SKPCollective team has been chosen. Out of the 12 talented finalists who showcased their skills and creativity, six social media-savvy stars have risen to the top, impressing the judges, including Creative HEAD’s digital director Kelsey Dring, with their passion for hairdressing and
their innovative approach to social media content creation.

The final auditions, held on Monday 8 April, commenced with a warm welcome from the Schwarzkopf Professional team, followed by the reveal of an exciting challenge. Each finalist was tasked with creating, editing, and posting an engaging reel within just one hour, using a box of Schwarzkopf Professional products. With an open brief emphasising the importance of showcasing their unique personality, the finalists rose to the occasion and delivered an impressive variety of content, ranging from hair transformations to ‘POV’ skits

behind the scenes SKP Collective
#SKPCollective audition process

Following a brief lunch break, the finalists engaged in one-on-one interviews with the judging panel, where they demonstrated their social media expertise, shared their vision for the #SKPCollective team, and reflected on their experience throughout the day.

The standard of talent showcased during the auditions was seriously impressive, making the final decision incredibly difficult for the judging panel. However, after much deliberation, the six members of the new #SKPCollective team for 2024 were selected…

Meet the new #SKPCollective team:
Alex Melville from The Hair Club in Stirling – @_styledbyalex
Chantelle Jones from Seckingtons in Northampton – @chantellehaircraft
Grainne McClelland from Coventry – @grainnemcclelland_hair
Harry Watson from DooDahs Hair in Hertfordshire – @hairbyharryx
Tommy Hardy from House of Marshall in Falkirk – @tommyhardyhair
Vishali Visavadia from London Road Hair in Leicester – @vsvstylist

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10 THINGS YOU NEED TO KNOW WHEN WORKING ON A VIDEO SHOOT

10 THINGS YOU NEED TO KNOW WHEN WORKING ON A VIDEO SHOOT

10 THINGS YOU NEED TO KNOW WHEN WORKING ON A VIDEO SHOOT

Session stylist Laura Chadwick shares her top tips for success when styling onset of a music video.

Laura Chadwick

Laura Chadwick

With a background in fashion, I never imagined myself working on music videos.  

However, fate had other plans, leading me on a journey filled with unexpected opportunities and thrilling experiences. 

 It all began during the Covid pandemic when I was brought in by a make-up artist to provide haircuts and styling for a music video shoot for Inhaler in Dublin. Despite the challenging circumstances, my skills as a qualified barber impressed the production team, opening doors to a world I had never considered. 

Working on that first music video was a turning point for me. It made me realise that there was so much more to my craft than just fashion. Music videos offered a whole new realm of creativity and expression. 

With my foot in the door, my journey in the music video industry continued to unfold. A contact in Sony recognised my talent and offered me opportunities to work with various music artists, ranging from emerging talents to established names. These experiences working with smaller artists gave me a solid foundation and understanding of the industry. I learned to adapt to different styles and visions, honing my skills along the way.  

Becky Hill’s music video for Outside of Love

It was a connection through a stylist named Kyle Devolle that would change the trajectory of my career. Through Kyle, I was introduced to Becky Hill, a chart-topping artist known for her powerhouse vocals and dynamic performances. Working with Becky was like stepping into a whole new world. The scale of the productions was immense, with elaborate sets and breath-taking locations. It was an exhilarating experience, and I felt privileged to be a part of it.  

Despite my initial focus on fashion, I have found a new passion in music videos. Each project brings its own challenges and rewards, but there’s something special about seeing your work come to life alongside the music. As I continue to make my mark in the music video industry, I remain grateful for the opportunities that have come my way. I never could have imagined this journey when I started out, but I’m grateful for every twist and turn that has led me here. My story serves as a testament to the power of following unexpected paths and embracing new opportunities. With passion and determination, there’s no telling where my journey will lead next. 

10 things you need to know when working on a video shoot 

  1. Creative collaboration: Working behind the scenes on a music video as a hairstylist involves collaborating closely with the creative director, stylist, make-up artist and artists to bring their vision to life through hair design. I usually receive a brief or a ‘feeling’ of what’s wanted, then I create a separate hair mood board to complement the theme. Ensuring we all know what the outcome is going to be reduces any changes or wasted time.
  2. Versatility is key: Be prepared to create diverse hairstyles that match the concept and theme of the music video, ranging from edgy and avant-garde to classic and elegant. This is where all my years assisting on fashion shows really helped as I’ve learnt so many techniques that’s you’d never use in the salon that I can put to good use.
  3. Time management: Music video shoots often have tight schedules, so being efficient with your time and able to work quickly under pressure is essential.
  4. Attention to detail: Every strand of hair matters, as even the smallest details can make a big difference in the final look on camera. I am always right there behind the scenes, ready to jump in at any moment to keep the hair looking perfect. Of course, on video you’re going to get a certain amount of movement so it’s important to take that into consideration when choosing your style, especially when shooting on location and being open to the elements.
Becky Hill

@hairbylaurachadwick

  1. Adaptability: Conditions on set can change rapidly, so you must be adaptable and able to adjust your hairstyling techniques accordingly. On my last video with Becky Hill there was a last-minute decision to shoot in the water next to some waterfalls, so I adapted the hairstyle by creating a wet look with some oil-based products, so it retained the texture and suited the environment.
  2. Communication skills: Clear communication with the director, artists, and other crew members is crucial to ensure everyone is on the same page regarding the desired hairstyles.
  3. Product knowledge: Familiarise yourself with a wide range of hair products and tools to achieve different textures, volumes, and styles as needed for the shoot. Over the years I’ve collected a large collection of products to suit every hair type and environment.
  4. Continuity: Pay attention to continuity throughout the shoot to ensure that hairstyles remain consistent across different scenes and takes. I always take pictures of the screen to look back on so the styles can be matched down to the smallest detail.
  5. Problem solving: Be prepared to troubleshoot any hair-related issues that may arise during the shoot, such as frizz, flyways, or unexpected changes in weather conditions.
  6. Professionalism: Always maintain a professional demeanour, as working on a music video set requires teamwork, reliability, and a positive attitude to deliver the best results. They are usually very long days and keeping positive and upbeat always keeps the team and artist on a positive vibe.

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YOLANDA COOPER – THE WOMAN BEHIND THE SUPERNOVAPRO

YOLANDA COOPER – THE WOMAN BEHIND THE SUPERNOVAPRO

BRIGHT STAR

Yolanda Cooper is changing the game of electrical styling with her revolutionary SupernovaPRO hair tool.

Yolanda Cooper

It was when she was at an airport in 2016 that Yolanda Cooper had her idea for her electrical tool, the SupernovaPRO. She was checking in for a flight with overweight baggage, mainly because of the number of different hair tools she was travelling with. ‘There’s got to be an answer for this’, she thought. It turned out there was. And it’s a game-changer.

The SupernovaPRO is the world’s first three-in-one hair styler combining a fully functioning straightening iron, curling tong and wave wand in one ultra-sleek, beautiful-to-behold tool. It comes with a whole host of first-to-market patented features, including revolutionary SmartSwitch technology that makes it the only hot styling tool with three independently powered functions; premium grade ceramic plates infused with Trionic technology that softens, smooths and hydrates the hair; and a patent-pending ergonomic DoublePivot system, which relieves pressure on the median nerve to reduce the risk of carpal tunnel syndrome – a condition especially prevalent in pro stylists.

The SupernovaPRO tool

 Not bad for a young female entrepreneur from Belfast designing her first electrical tool! “I think going in blind to something allows you to be completely free of fear,” says Yolanda. “If you knew what you were getting into before you did these crazy things, half the time you wouldn’t do it because you’ve no idea how complex it is, how long these things take and how many reasons there are for it to fail. Some of the best entrepreneurs are the ones who just have no clue what they’re doing, they just go into it and commit to figuring it out later.”

Armed only with a sketch of what she felt the tool could look like, Yolanda set about hiring industry-leading industrial designers and engineers to turn her concept into a reality. It took five years to refine the tool mechanically and aesthetically as she constantly challenged her team to come up with the technology to match her ideas.

“Going in blind to something allows you to be completely free of fear.”

Yolanda Cooper

“Very early on we realised that if this is going to be a professional tool, then three-in-one is brilliant but it can’t be a compromised experience – we have to make each of those tools incrementally better than what’s on the market,” says Yolanda. And I think I think that’s what we’ve done. So, straighteners have always been symmetrical and rectangular, but what if you need to get right into the baby hairs at the root? We made our straightener narrower at the tip, so that it allows you – for example – to detail short fringes and work with Type 3 and 4 hair. Ceramic technology provides great negative ions into the hair, but how do we take that even further? I’m a trichologist, so that’s why I came up with the idea of taking a heat protection formula and infusing it into the plates to give superior shine. When it came to the tong, we changed the tip to a rubber material so that you can literally hold onto it, even when the temperature is set at 200˚C. And we spent a long time perfecting the exact torsion of the spring and the double-pivot system to make the tool more comfortable to use. Consumers might not notice that benefit, because they’re only going to use the tool for 20 minutes at a time, but hair pros, who are styling nine hours a day – they’re really going to see the difference.”

“We realised that we had to make each of those tools incrementally better than what’s on the market. And I think I think that’s what we’ve done.”

Yolanda Cooper

Proud that the SupernovaPRO is designed, engineered and manufactured in Great Britain, and fully aware that she is competing against some industry heavyweights, Yolanda is putting her experience as a former marketing director to good use. “Core to our communication and marketing strategy is a grassroots approach,” she says. “We have a programme called The Salon Spotlight, where we send our film crew into a salon to shoot collaborative content, including interviews with the stylists and footage of them styling their client’s hair in different ways. We can also create an event in the salon, where I and our head of engineering will come along and talk to guests. And the content we create can be used for a salon’s own social media campaign to drive awareness. We may not have the budgets that some of the big brands have, but what we do have is passion and agility and the desire to go and partner with salons on a one-to-one basis.”

And finally, why the name Supernova? “I’ve always been fascinated with astrology and stargazing,” says Yolanda. “And with SupernovaPRO we’re trying to create the biggest shining star in the industry. In space, a supernova is a cataclysmic explosion. And so I thought that was a cool name, because we are aiming to be the biggest thing in the industry. It’s quite fitting.”

Retailing at £299, SupernovaPRO is exclusive to salons across the UK and Ireland. To become a stockist or purchase at the wholesale price of £199 plus VAT, visit supernovahairtools.com/pages/creativehead

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WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT WORKING WITH HIGH PROFILE CLIENTELE

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT WORKING WITH HIGH PROFILE CLIENTELE

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT WORKING WITH HIGH PROFILE CLIENTELE

Jay Birmingham brings us backstage at Fashion Week to share his advice for handling a packed calendar of clients.

Jay Birmingham at BRIT awards

Jay Birmingham backstage at the BRIT Awards with Maya Jama

“Fashion month is always a huge whirlwind. Going between London, Paris and Milan is a great opportunity to immerse yourself in the buzzing atmosphere of each fashion capital.

As a hairstylist deeply entrenched in this world, I’ve had the privilege of witnessing firsthand the magic that unfolds backstage, and now more regularly working with clients who are attending the shows. More than ever, all eyes are on those sitting front row, therefore it is so important to nail the look head to toe.

Managing your time effectively during Fashion Week, which is typically a fast-paced and hectic period, requires careful planning and organisation. I start by looking at the schedule well in advance and the timings of the bigger shows. This allows me to predict where the buzz will be. It’s also important to prioritise, as you can’t be in two places at once. This involves carefully planning my own schedule, as travel needs to be factored in, alongside extra ‘buffer’ time to account for unexpected delays or last minute changes. Doing so helps reduce stress and ensures that I arrive on time for each commitment.

Conversely, it’s vital to stay flexible for last minute bookings which can lead to great opportunities with new talent, some of which I might not have worked with if it wasn’t for Fashion Week. Behind all the glamour is a lot of prep and hours of travel, from prepping wigs to making sure my kit is stocked, so planning in advance is key.

This Fashion Week I worked with some incredible talent, including the wonderful Maya Jama for the Albert Ferretti show in Milan. Maya’s look featured a choppy cut with bangs and lots of movement throughout the hair.

I also had the privilege of styling Maya for the BRIT Awards, which fell during the Fashion Week craziness! Maya was one of the hosts for the night, and we decided on a style featuring the ‘butterfly effect’. This involved adding numerous layers to the hair to create a textured yet sleek look, which complimented her stunning black gown. I was on hand at the O2 Arena to help with final touch ups, both behind the scenes and on the red carpet.

Jay Birmingham backstage
Jay Birmingham's hair kit
Jay Birmingham doing wig prep

L-R: Jay with Blanca Soler and wig prep for Maya

London Fashion Week also saw me create one of my favourite looks for my client, Munroe Bergdorf. It was for the Self Portrait show and focused on crafting a playful style to showcase her new bold copper colour. I love to look at the client’s colour and shades and find ways to style the hair to complement the overall aesthetic. This season also saw me work with the amazing Blanca Soler for Burberry, Amina Muaddi for the Tiffany X British Vogue event, and Xenia Adonts for the Prada and Gucci shows. All were very different and contrasting looks to one another, but it’s great to experiment with different styles and get creative. After all, this is what Fashion Week is all about!

As a hairstylist, Fashion Week serves as both a showcase of our skills and a testament to the transformative power of hair in the world of fashion. Until next season, we’ll continue to push the boundaries of creativity and innovation, one hairstyle at a time.” 

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